Ommund Stokka from IE&FLT and Rune Dyrvik from Sjømat Norge.

Ommund Stokka from IE&FLT and Rune Dyrvik from Sjømat Norge thank each other for the negotiations.

Photo: Egil Brandsøy.

Fishmeal and fish feed industry reached framework wage agreement in Norway

The framework of the front sector is an average, not a definitive figure; the result may be higher or lower in local negotiations.

After two days of negotiations, Sjømat Norge (Norwegian Seafood Federation) and the union Industri Energi, and the Federation of Management and Technology (IE&FLT) reached a framework wage agreement for the fishmeal and fish feed industry in Norway. The negotiations cover around 700 IE&FLT members in well-known companies such as BioMar, Skretting, Pelagia, MOWI Feed, and EWOS.

Rightful share of the value creation

As a result of the agreement, fishmeal and fish feed industry workers get a general increase of NOK 7.00 (EUR 0.61 / USD 0.66) per hour for all, and an increase in minimum wage rates of NOK 13.64 (EUR 1.19 / USD 1.30) per hour. In addition, the trade certificate supplement increases by NOK 0.80 (EUR 0.07 / USD 0.07) to NOK 13.30 (EUR 1.16 / USD 1.26). Minimum wage rates and overtime rates were increased by 6.5%, and shift rates by 6.3%.

Speaking after the agreement was reached, the union's negotiating leader, Ommund Stokka, said these had been constructive negotiations in which they had managed to solve the most important of the series of issues that the tariff conference had asked them to.

"This is an industry that is doing very well. Therefore, it was important to ensure that the workers in this industry get their rightful share of the value creation," he said.

New benefits for shift workers

Some of the important points of the negotiation have been those affecting shift workers who have seen not only the rest period provision increased from 8 to 11 hours to return to the company - bringing them in line with other shift work agreements in other sectors - but also the supplements for public holidays.

"This agreement involves a lot of shift work. Therefore, we also wanted to increase the rates for shift work this year, and we succeeded," Stokka continued. The new shift work supplements will be NOK 29.85 (EUR 2.62 / USD 2.85) in the afternoon, NOK 44.22 (EUR 3.88 / USD 4.22) in the evening, NOK 114.97 (EUR 10.10 / USD 10.98) on Sundays and public holidays, and NOK 206.73 (EUR 18.15 / USD 19.75) on public holidays.

The new protocol for fishmeal and fish feed industry workers also includes text concerning vacation planning, pay for meetings in industry cooperation committees, seniority supplements, or new provisions in the agreement regarding, among other things, the right to breastfeeding breaks, text about dyslexia-friendly workplaces, or local negotiations. 

Local negotiations will now begin

As Sjømat Norge, Norway's largest seafood organization, noted in its statement, now that after the conclusion of the negotiations the agreement was adopted by the IE & FLT union, "local negotiations can begin." According to the union, the understanding included the text of the electrochemical agreement on local negotiations in 2020. This year, these were amended in the electrochemical agreement, and the changes were also included here.

"This strengthens local negotiations. It states that negotiations should be based on the company's finances, productivity, future prospects, and competitiveness," Ommund Stokka stated.

The union negotiating leader also emphasized that the front-end sector framework for fishmeal and fish feed industry workers is an average, not a definitive figure."The result may be higher or lower than this in local negotiations," he pointed out.